Letter to the editor 1, Oct. 22, 2015

Dear Editor,

Soon the Liberal government will deposit a school board reform bill which will bring our public school system into the 21st Century.

The main point of the plan is the scrapping of school board elections, which will truly strengthen democracy at the school level.

However, the heads of the French and English school board associations are crying foul, and it is astonishing the lengths they will go to retain these elections.

Consider the Francophone school board Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec (FCSQ). Its head said abolishing school board elections is "sexist." This proclamation is disingenuous, and is, simply, playing the gender card, which is not fair to women.

The new bill will put more power into the hands of women (many mothers), who, serve on governing boards and other groups, and women (teachers), who are a dominant voice in the teaching profession.

Moreover, who said there will not be any women on the new Councils or Boards of Directors?

On the English side, the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) continues to play the language card. At last week's candidates’ debate (Oct. 13) for president and vice-president of QESBA, a presidential candidate suggested rallying other English groups and going to the Supreme Court of Canada to fight for "rights."

Whose "rights"?

We will have all the "rights" that come with an entire English public school system: councils, schools and everything else English.

Last weekend, (Oct. 16/17) the QESBA spent thousands of taxpayers’ dollars, at a meeting, in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Its primary purpose was to think of ways to keep the status quo, and thwart attempts of the Liberal government to modernize our English public school system, by giving a bigger say to parents, teachers, school principal and support staff, to manage our English schools.

Let's put our cards on the table and ask a fundamental question:

What is it, in this modern high-tech communications era, that school commissioners do, that parents with the personnel in the school, who have a vested interest in the child, cannot do, for the students in the school ?

Following government standards, and with proper funding, the answer is - nothing.

The self-serving QESBA, and its alarmist rhetoric has nothing to do with student achievement, and indeed, is a menace to democracy, and should be stopped.

Chris Eustace

Pierrefonds

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